not extirpate them, because among them are those who will believe, or who shall beget those who will believe. "'Abbasi gives very much the same explanation of the passage. In fact, there can be no doubt about its meaning. It tells us that God had not given Muhammad the power of working such miracles as the Quraish demanded, because He knew that the latter would refuse to accept him as a prophet, even were his claims thus supported.

Besides this there are other verses which somewhat less clearly state the same thing. For instance, in Surah ii. 112, 113, it is written: "And those who know not have said, '(We shall not believe) unless God speak to us, or there come to us a sign.' Thus spake those who were before them, the like of their speech: their hearts were similar. We have made the signs clear to a people that seeks certainty. Verily we have sent thee with the truth as an evangelist and as a warner." On this passage Al Baizawi says1 that the Quraish were dissatisfied because signs did not come to them. Instead of those which the people demanded, in the second part of ver. 112 they are offered verses of the Qur'an as a proof of Muhammad's mission. That the "signs" (الآيات) in this part of the verse mean this is clear from the context, and also from Surah ii. 146: "According as we have sent among you an Apostle from among yourselves, who reads aloud over you Our 2 signs (ءَآياَتِناَ)." These "signs" then were not wonderful works or miracles, such as his opponents demanded, they were merely verses of the Qur'an, for otherwise the verb "reads aloud " (يَتْلو) would have no proper meaning. So too in Surah ii. 253: "Those are God's signs: We read them aloud over thee in truth, and verily thou art indeed of the Messengers"; and in Surah ii. 93: "And indeed We have sent down unto thee evident signs, and none shall disbelieve in them except the dissolute." The verb "We have sent down"

1 Vol. i, p. 81.
2 Compare also Surah xxix. 50.

(أَنْزَلْنَا) shows that the "evident signs" are Qur'anic verses, which are always spoken of as "sent down" Similarly in Surah vii. 202, the word ءَآيَةْ, "sign," clearly means a verse of the Qur'an. It is possible that the meaning of Surah vi. 124—"And then there came to them a sign they said, 'We shall never believe until we are brought the like of what the Apostles of God were brought'—is that the Quraish; demanded, instead of verses of the Qur'an, some such miracles as those which some of the Prophets and Apostles had wrought. This is supported 1 by Surah vi. 37, and still more clearly by Surah vi. 109: "And they swore by God, the utmost of their oaths, Surely if a sign come to them they will surely believe in it. 'Say thou: 'Verily the signs are with God, and what will make you understand that, if they come, they will not believe?"' This amounts to a declaration that Muhammad had not been given the power of working miracles. The kind of sign which the Quraish demanded is clearly shown in Surah xiii. 30: "'And if there were a Qur'an by which the mountains would be removed or the earth cleft or the dead addressed. . . ! 'Say thou: 'To God belongeth the matter altogether."' In his commentary on this passage Al Baizawi tells us at length what was the challenge which the Quraish offered to Muhammad on this occasion. In Surah xvii. 92-95 we find something similar: "And they said, 'Never shall we believe thee, until thou causest a fountain to spring forth from the earth for us, or till thou shalt have a garden of palm-trees and grapes: therefore shalt thou cause the rivers to gush forth according to their nature in gushing forth; or till thou shalt cause the sky to fall upon us in fragments, as thou hast fancied, or till thou bring God and the angels as a surety; or till thou hast a house of gold, or thou climbest up into the sky; and we shall never believe in thy climbing up, until thou shalt cause to descend upon us a book which we shall

1 A demand for a miracle is made also in Surahs x. 21; xiii. 8, 27, and in other places.